A student from Haywards Heath has been offered a prestigious scholarship at an American music college.
Former Burgess Hill School for Girls pupil Lily Williams was awarded the place due to her active passion for music and theatre.
She has previously put on a musical play about the First World War with two school friends and been recognised nationally through the charity, Music for Youth.
Lily, 19, will now study at Berklee in Boston. The college is renowned for having collectively won more than 250 Grammys and Latin Grammys through its alumni, including John Mayer, one of her favourite musicians. Only 34 per cent of applicants are successful with scholarship placements rarer still.
Despite missing the London audition, Lily was able to demonstrate her talent at Berklee’s sister campus in Valencia.
Her play, ‘A Shot Heard Around the World’ written with friends Beth King and Amy Scott, focussed on the life of Serbian assassin Gavrilo Princip. His murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand is widely credited with helping to start the First World War. Lily said putting on the play was ‘one of the best experiences of my life’.
School deputy head Liz Laybourn said: “Lily’s an exceptionally talented young lady who absolutely depicts all the qualities of a Burgess Hill Girl. She took every opportunity to be involved in all aspects of school life, took risks and set herself enormous goals alongside maintaining an excellent academic profile.
“This young lady is something very special.”
Her mother, Andrea added: “We’re excited, that’s the overriding emotion.”
Lily has recently spent time in Australia with a Christian youth group and also spent a month in East Timor as part of the missionary work.
Mrs Williams is confident that her daughter will succeed in following her musical ambition. She said: “There’s no plan B, you really are going for your dreams.”
Lily starts her place in the US later this month.
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